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ABC to Revive ‘Battle of the Network Stars’

New Version of this Old Classic to Air This Summer

Remember “Battle of the Network Stars,” hosted by Howard Cosell, which aired sporadically as a series of specials on ABC from 1976 to 1985 and featured then network stars like Heather Locklear, Farrah Fawcett, Gabe Kaplan, Cathy Lee Crosby, Gregory Harrison and Patrick Duffy competing in a series of friendly competitions? ABC is begun casting what will be a new version airing this summer. The alphabet net, of course, is no stranger to summer revivals, with its roster of rebooted game shows – “Celerity Family Feud,” “The Match Game,” “The $100,000 Pyramid” and “To Tell the Truth” – all generating interest. According to a casting announcement, the series will shoot in May.

No stranger to being revived, “Battle of the Network Stars” had its first revival in 1988 and returned briefly on Bravo as “The Battle of the Network Reality Stars” in 2005.

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Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

2673 posts
  • Louis

    I had actually wondered in the recent past why someone has not revived this.

    • JimU

      My guess is that current televisions stars don’t want to do this.

      • Louis

        You may be right. I can see some doing it since it is just a one day thing. I know that DWTS has trouble getting A-list people because which of them can commit to weeks and weeks?

        • Hello Larry

          Yeah that might be the key difference between this and DWTS it probably won’t be live since the original one wasn’t live either. They will just do it on one day the only way I could see this being a problem is if the stars ask for too much money to appear on it. There’s enough television stars out there though where this will be cool for them to make their name off of it.

    • Hello Larry

      I’m puzzled too Louis this should’ve been revived but glad to see it revived now.

  • Hello Larry

    If there’s one revival I always wanted to happen it’s this one Battle of the Network Stars or BOTNS. It’s cool that ABC is bringing back so many of these old game shows. This used to be a pretty big deal back in the 70s and 80s as so many major television stars were on this show. It was cool to see your favorite television actors compete against each other athletically.

    Today would be so cool because of the social media experience and I’ve personally always wanted to see FOX and The CW get in on the action but I’m not sure how they will do the format this time since we got cable stars too now.

    I can’t wait for it if there’s one show I’m watching this summer it’s this one.